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Clint Eastwood’s health scare led him to ‘stay away from carbohydrates… rich desserts’

What's the difference between a heart attack and cardiac arrest?

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Back in the summer of 1970, Clint Eastwood’s father lost his life to a fatal heart attack; an unfortunate tragedy that hit Eastwood “like a tonne of bricks”. Forty at the time of his father’s death, the award-winning performer decided to live more consciously. “I try to watch [my] intake of saturated fats,” Eastwood told GQ magazine.

Too much consumption of saturated fats in the diet can lead to raised cholesterol levels, the NHS points out.

As such, the blood vessels can become furred with cholesterol, which restricts the passageway of blood to vital organs, such as the heart.

Foods high in saturated fats:

  • Fatty cuts of meat
  • Meat products, including sausages and pies
  • Butter, ghee, and lard
  • Cheese, especially hard cheese like cheddar
  • Cream, soured cream and ice cream
  • Some savoury snacks, like cheese crackers and some popcorns
  • Chocolate confectionery
  • Biscuits, cakes, and pastries
  • Palm oil
  • Coconut oil and coconut cream.

If blood flow to the heart, for example, is blocked, then a heart attack will ensue.

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Heart attack symptoms:

  • Chest pain – a feeling of pressure, heaviness, tightness or squeezing across your chest
  • Pain in other parts of the body – it can feel as if the pain is spreading from your Chest to your arms (usually the left arm, but it can affect both arms), jaw, neck, Back and tummy
  • Feeling lightheaded or dizzy
  • Sweating
  • Shortness of breath
  • Feeling sick (nausea) or being sick (vomiting)
  • An overwhelming feeling of anxiety (similar to a panic attack)
  • Coughing or wheezing.

Possibly frightened by his father’s fatal heart attack, Eastwood focused on eating a healthy diet to stop himself from following in the same footsteps.

In an interview with Muscle and Fitness, Eastwood said he’s “been pretty good about watching [his] diet”.

“Stay away from carbohydrates, especially rich desserts,” the 92-year-old advised.

“Keep a scale in your bathroom. Get proper rest. Try to be optimistic. Eat fruits and raw vegetables.

“Take vitamins. Skip beverages loaded with sugars. Avoid alcohol in excess.”

At 92 years of age, and still working, Eastwood’s advice could be very useful indeed.

Building on his expertise, managing your weight is a great way to reduce your risk of disease.

The NHS certifies that obesity, for instance, can increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and stroke.

As for getting a good night’s sleep, this too can help to stave off disease.

Doctor Michael Farquhar noted that “sleep is essential to health” as it performs a “nightly personal MOT”.

“When we don’t get enough sleep, or our sleep is poor quality, we suffer the short and long-term consequences of sleep deprivation and fatigue,” warned Doctor Farquhar.

Fatigue can increase the likelihood of developing anxiety, depression, and Alzheimer’s disease.

Optimism has been linked to longevity too, as does the consumption of fruits and vegetables.

Moreover, alcohol is a toxin to the brain and body; thus, the less of it you drink, the better off you will be.

Clint Eastwood stars in Dirty Harry, playing on channel 5 on Friday, August 26 at 10pm.

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